This course provides students with a survey of the historical, social, and cultural developments of Japan from the very early beginnings to the twentieth-century. We will examine the process of the development of a sense of identity, formation of a feudal system and feudal culture, transformation into an industrialized nation, march on the road to militarism, World War II and the construction of memory concerning the war.
Class format will consist of both lectures and discussions. Student participation is an integral part of the course and each student will be responsible for leading discussion at least once. All students are expected to finish the assigned readings prior to class each week so that they can fully participate in the discussion.